Photography Assignment

Photographic Assignment Semester One

The brief here was Memory and Archive  as a record of a selected moment in time, the (documentary) photograph still retains a primary purpose of being a record — a trace of a moment in time to become an archive or memory. 

While delving though my collection of photos and keepsakes I came upon a collection of Richard Carrier cookbooks/magazines.  They were put out in the 1970s and collected by my Grandfather,  who was an enthusiastic cook.  One of the recipes reminded me of a happy time I spent with him creating  a Bavarian Cream and riding home with it hitched onto the back of my bike, much to his amusement.    What I also realised is that I had a wonderful family archive of recipes that had been scrapbooked together,  recipes collected by Mum and passed to me, personal recipes from friends and family, often hand written.   




 A photographic workshop where we were required to compile and arrange images in a response to various artists who use a number of different techniques offering  us alternative views of the ordinary space.

 Looking at the work of Roni Horn we selected a space to take a number of close up, middle and long distance shots and arranged selected images in a square format.

Then we took a panaromic view of a space, dividing it into 4 to 6 and taking a numnber of shots within each division. These images can then be reassembled, as in the work of Daniel Spoerris, providing a visiually interesting view of again a quite ordinary space.  Yves Klein’s work looks at unconnected details of a space, and joins then together.   Lastly, we returned to one of our selected spaces and re photographed it through  mesh and netting, particularly examing the different junctions within the room, influenced here by the work of Christian Milovanoff.


 This image is my response to Daniel Spoerri’s “Chambre no.13 de l’Hotel Carcassone, rue Mouffetard,Paris, 1959-64

the ladies copy


 My response to Roni Horn’s,   “Her,Her,Her and Her” , 2001 -2003. 64 B&W images of a women’s locker room in Reykjavik.

  Here’s a few other photographic artists images that I enjoyed…



Starn Twins, “Attracted to Light 1″, 1996 – 2004,  120″ x 264”,Toned silver print on Thai Mulberry Paper.  The series is a sub series of  “Absorption of Light“.   



Starn Twins, “Guayin”, 2005, 55′ x 55″ , Unique Colour Carbon Prints.

Link to see more of this series is really worth a look, they do some cool stuff.
  the third streetchenshaoxiong
 Chen Shaoxiang, “Third Street, Gedachutniskirche, Berlin”, 2001,  85 x 130 cm, C-print

  In his series of “Streetscapes” you think you see an ordinary streetview but the maquette influences the sight.


 Chen Shaoxiong, “Cityview 1 & 2”, 2001, C-print



In this workshop we looked at Perspective to create the illusion of depth and space, things in the distance are less defined, lighter (bluer), smaller and foreshortened. We looked at techniques used and a brief history.

   In the Middle Ages overlapping rather perspective was used,

Saints Sergios and Bacchos, Monastry of St.Catherine, Sinai
Later in the work of Italian artist Giotto de Bondone we can see the introduction of volume and depth.
  Giotto di Bondone  
“The Mourning of Christ”, c.1305, Fresco, Capella dell”Arena, Padua   


Guido diPietro copy

 Guido di Pietro, known as Fra Angelico

“The Coronation of the Virgin”, before 1435, Tempera on Wood, 2.09 x 2.06 m, San Domenico, Fiesole (now at the Louvre)

This work is considered to be the culmination of his artistic development from 1420 to 1430 due to both his mastery of persepective and virtuoso arrangemnet of figures.  Fra Angelico was one of the first to understand the importance of Brunelleschi’s and Masaccio’s algebraic /geometric innovations which are in use today.

 While another Italian Master, Pierro della Francesca, is considered one of the most important artists of the 15th century, particularly due to his innovations in perspective geometry and thesis on painting and mathematics. 

 Constucting Perspective 

One Point Perspective has one Vanishing Point and one Horizon.


 Two Point Perspective has Two Vanishing Points and one Horizontal,  there are no other Horizontal lines.  All lines on the same plane or object surface will vanish to the same Vanishing Point.


stsebastian copy 

Contemporary Artists Using Perspective in their Art …..
Bill Krueger "Venice Morning", 2007, Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"
Bill Krueger "Venice Morning", 2007, Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"Bill Krueger, "Red Wine", 2007, Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"

Panya Clark Espinal,  2002



Panya Clark Espinal,  waterjet cut porcelain tiles and terrazzo,  2002

This was a commissioned installation for the Toronto Subway Stations,  using 24 hand drawn images “projected” onto the walls of the sub station.  When seen from the point of projection they seen realistic while become abstract from a different viewing location. 



  This workshop investigated the multitude of ways we can use lines in an image using both digital and hands on methods.  Firtsly we had a morning in the lab playing around with Photoshop,  finding 4 -6 images from the internet to import as a Background Layer, then using the drawing tools (brush, pencil, marquee, erasor, colours) to create a completely different image.

 Here’s a selection of my recreated  images.

Fiji Water
Fiji Water


Freedom For Fiji
Freedom For Fiji
Family Wedding
Family Wedding
Fiji Ever Fiji
Fiji Ever Fiji
Tapa Soliders
Tapa Soliders

 The next set of images were created by hand, using techniques such as tracing, cut outs, voiding areas with paint (white or black), adding lines or  collage.




muslims copy


Slide Show

I have made a few slideshows which I load onto my google blog site so I thought I would see what it runs like on wordpress,  I find these are a really good way to show a few photos of what were have been doing when we’ve been away (especially for nana’s).

Let’s see how it goes,  this slideshow is from a trip we made at the end of last year to Bostwana.  We drove out into the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on 4×4’s and slept under the stars,  brilliant.



Planet Baobab

Jacob Lawrence

As part of our Studio we were asked to look at an artist and one of their images.  The work I chose was from a series of paintings by Jacob Lawrence. 

Jacob Lawrence ( 1917 – 2000)


Between 1915 and 1920 as many as one million African Americans moved from the rural south to the northern cities, in what became known as the Great Migration.  During this milieu of mass migration and the depression of the 1920s and 30s black culture was able to flourish, culminating in the Harlem Renaissance.

Jacob Lawrence was born in 1917 and moved to Harlem, New York City, in 1924 with his mother and siblings, it was here that Jacob Lawrence was first involved with art and others artists,  He eventually, in the late 1930s, was one of many artists who were employed and trained by the Federal Arts Projects in New York.

The art work that first drew my attention is from his migration series, I like the simplicity and use of colour, though it portrays much more.



“The female worker was also one of the last groups to leave the South”

The Migration of the Negro Series, panel no.57, (1940-1941).

Casein tempura on hardboard, (45.7 cm x 30.5 cm)

This relatively small sized painting on hardboard is part of the Migration of the Negro series (1940 -41),  in which Lawrence uses his own distinctive style of Visual Narrative to depict the mass migration of blacks from the South in a 60 panel series.

The Great Migration was not just an economic but also a social and cultural event, in which millions of African Americans took over control of their own lives which had been denied them in the South.  From an early age Jacob Lawrence had been surrounded by family and community stories of the Migration, giving the series as a whole a genuine authenticity that is clearly apparent.

 “ I don’t think in terms of history about that series. I think in terms of contemporary life. It was such a part of me that I didn’t think of something outside. It was like I was doing a portrait of something. If it was a portrait, it was a portrait of myself, a portrait of my family, a portrait of my peers. “  Jacob Lawrence

Although black women did want to migrate North, they were paid such poor wages that it would take them much longer to have enough money to move, frequently husbands moved ahead of their wives and families until they had enough money for the whole family to migrate.

Lawrence called his style “dynamic cubism”, although the figures in most of his paintings tend to be quite static like even though you can see there is movement.  The simplicity and restraint in the images portray more to the viewer than if further details were included. 

In this image, Lawrence portrayed a woman engaged in her work at a commercial laundry. She is washing clothes. Rugs and blankets hang behind her. The red handle of the woman’s washing stick creates the painting’s focal point and divides the composition down the centre,  it is a dense and well balanced composition, suggesting a resilience and perseverance that is an underlying theme in this series.  

He said about this work in 1945  “The human subject is the most important thing.  My work is abstract in the sense of having been designed and composed, but it is not abstract in the sense of having no human content… [I] want to communicate. I want the idea to strike right away”

I think he has achieved this goal admirably in this painting in its own right and most certainly when viewed as intended as part of a series.




Author Unknown, “Jacob Lawrence”. n.d. American Art, Vol 8, No. 3/4 (Summer – Autumn 1994), pp 134-136.  23rd March 2009. <;

Harkins Wheat, Ellen.  “Jacob Lawrence and the Legacy of Harlem”. Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 26, No. 1  (1986), pp. 18-25.  The Smithsonian Institution. <>

Powell, Richard J.  “Jacob Lawrence: Keep on Movin’”.  American Art, Vol. 15, No. 1  (Spring, 2001), pp. 90-93.  The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  <>

Johnson,David.  “Important Cities in Black History: Atlanta to Washington, DC: landmarks in African-American history”. n.d. FactMonster Database, Pearson Education, Inc. 23rd March 2003. <;

Nesbett, Peter T, DuBois, M, Hills, POver the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence.  United States, 2001.

Exhibition "We Are Fiji"

exhibition banner

” i Viti, o sa tara na yaloqu”
                                      – ah Fiji, you’ve touched my soul.

This exhibition is a personal reflection on my time living in the Fiji Islands.  Fiji is a beautiful and complex country with an extremely rich cultural amalgamation of indigenous Fijian, Indo-fijian and of course British colonial influences.  

Fiji is a real juxtaposition of wealth and poverty, freedom and restrictions both political and cultural.  The images and video clips I have choosen for this exhibition  hope to provide a brief  insight to these uniquely Fijian diversities.


Music Video put together by Daniel Rae Costello in response to the Fiji Sevens World cup 2007.



Man and Woman in Patriarchal Society

 Josaia McNamara Patricarchal society cropped

Josaia McNamara
Man and Woman in Patriarchal Society, 2006
91 x 64 cm
Oil on Canvas

This piece was displayed as part of the Red Wave Collective, which is a group of prominent contemporary artists from the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. It encompasses much about life in Fiji.   The artist uses traditional patterns and vibrant colour that incorporate aspects of the many cultural values within Fijian society, in particular the domance of the Patriarchal society in both the traditional Fijian villages and also the Indian Family structures. 


Fijian Girl at Hindi Wedding 


Meg Campbell-Back, 2007
B&W Digital photograph

 An image from Meg’s personal blogsite,  Meg has been living in Fiji for nearly 4 years on Treasure Island with her family, she has learnt to speak Fijian and has been honing her photographic skills,   I wouldn’t be surprised if she started speaking  Hindi also next time I see her.    The  Hindi wedding ceremony is an incredibly colourful event that we have been priviledge to be invited to.  While  the practice of arranged marriages is still very prevalent,  who knows what the future will hold for this beautiful young girl.


Sunset over the Mamanucas

Sunset over the Mamanacus, 2000
Three Loose Coconuts, Peter Henning and Glen Craig
Colour digital print in Hard back book , “fiji time” , Three Loose Coconuts, 2000

A beautiful image of the Mamanucas Islands, home to the large majority of the Tourist Resorts. This image is typically what springs to mind when we as New Zealanders think of Fiji and where, as a tourist, we would most likely be holidaying.


Only in Fiji

My freinds and I had a saying “only in fiji” that we would use to descibe situations and attitudes that you would only come across in Fiji,  the following excerpt from a friends blogsite sums this up very well…

Natural Ice Cream Shop

 ME:  What time do you close ?

Ice Cream Guy:  9 pm

ME:  Every night ?

ICG:  Yes

Me:  What about tonight ?

ICG:  Tonight ?  8:30

only in fiji !


Freedom of Speech
publisher expelled

freedom of speech
unknown artist, published on Blogsite

This Blog site entitled “mi vida al reves or how two europeans got lost in Fiji” is written by a woman who lives in Suva, she initially setup the blog to keep in touch with family and friends in Europe. The site is full of relevant and inciteful comments as well as links to many fijian based websites.  At the moment, with the press being so heavily censored, the blog site has become  a  valueable source of information.  The images posted refer directly to the interference with the Fijians right to freedom of speech while the second makes reference to the expulsion of the third newspaper editor over the last year. 


Fiji TimeTom & Chris Mana Island 05

Fiji Time on Mana Island
Dorothy de Lautour, 2005
Digital Photograph

An idylic holiday on one the many beautiful islands in the Mamanuca group where parents and kids can really relax,


The Legend of Duacina

The Legend of Duacina

William Bakalevu
The Legend of Duacina, 2006
Oil on Canvas
201 x 177 cm

A contemporary take on a traditional legend, this painting reflects the colours of fiji with its use of  blues and greens, as well as a reference to traditional weaving. The painting seems to have a very Escher like influence with the fish patterns fitting into one another.  The artist is also a member of the Red Wave Collective of Pacific Artists, and was part of the Red Wave exhibition, London, 2006.


 Vonu ni Cakau IVonu ni Cakau I

Maria Rova
Vonu ni Cakau I, 2008
Oil on Barkcloth (masi)
26 x 50 cm

‘Vonu ni Cakau’ is fijian meaning ‘Turtle of the Reef’ .  Turtles are  revered in island legends as symbols of wisdom and blessing, though their numbers are dwindling there are several breeding programs happening within Fiji,  this painting is celebrating their annual return.  Maria is an American who married a local Fijian and has lived in Fiji for the last 10 years,  her images are bold and colorful, drawing inspiration from the colour and diversity of the landscape, seascape, flora and fauna and animals, predominately printed on silk or bark cloth (or masi).  Maria has also been involved in Australian Aid sponsored art workshops for local people looking to produce  a variety of artworks, as well as providong another opportunity of creating income.


Nacula School, Yasawa Islands


nacula school
Meg Campbell-Back, 2007
Colour Digital photograph

A very typical classroom found throughout Fiji,  the resources are pretty minimal and the school caters for a number of villages.  Often these school will have children  boarding from Monday through to Friday.  We have always found the teachers and students very friendly and welcoming,  often tourists that come to visit the schools will also make a donation of some kind.


Gateway to Suva  suvaprison1

Meg Campbell-Back, 2007
Colour Digital photograph

If you drive from Nadi into Suva the first thing to great you is the Suva prison, a relect from the Colonial Past, it is a grim building no matter how it is dressed up with murals. 


Cartoon from The Australian newspaper


Peter Nicholson
The Australian newspaper, 26 May 2000


George Speight lead coup in 2000, which took over Parliment at gunpoint.  This an interesting historical cartoon as only really the players have changed from the Council of Chiefs behind the coup,  now disbanded by current regime, to the Military coup that is in power currently.  It is clear that attitudes and ideas on how to resolve differences of opinion has not been dealt with,  I doubt whether Fiji can get the stability it needs until this basic process can work in reality.


New Zealand Herald Article’s

Fiji compared to Burma as junta tightens its grip

Page 1 of 2 View as a single page 7:41AM Tuesday Apr 14, 2009
By Yvonne Tahana
This article is an example of the reporting that I have found typical of the New Zealand and Australian press.  Sometimes I  wonder whether the journalists have actually been to Fiji and looked at all the issues.  In this article the New Zealand Herald has likened the crisis in Fiji to that of Burma,  I wonder if the journalist is providing balance or looking for a good by-line.

Are you putting off a trip to Fiji?


The treason charges against 10 people arrested in Fiji have been dropped. Ten of 16 people arrested had been … More

This second article refers to the 200o Coup,  and asks us to reconsider travelling to Fiji as this may be seen as supporting an  unlawful Govt with poor human rights, although apparently encouraging trade with China is to be supported and encouraged.  

Tourism Fiji New Zealand Current Advertising Campaign

 Tourism Blackboard Website
May 2009

 While our News leaders advise not to travel to fiji our tourism industry leaders advise us there is no better time to go.